Kayden Culp, a 10-year-old special needs boy from Kerrville, Texas, thought he had made some friends at school. That’s the reason, reports the New York Post, that he was more than willing to follow three other boys to a shack to “play.” When Kayden Culp got to the shack, however, it wasn’t for playtime. Instead, the 10-year-old special needs child was allegedly the victim of a violent, unthinkable assault.
As Fox News reports, when special needs child Kayden Culp arrived at the Texas shack with his three new “friends,” one of the other boys covered him with gasoline and lit him on fire, causing first and second-degree burns on a quarter of his body.
Following the brutal, bullying-related assault of Kayden Culp, his frantic mother took him to a local hospital for medical treatment. Just before the small child faded into a medically-induced coma on Sunday, he was able to give his mother the name of the boy who set him ablaze. According to Kayden Culp’s mother, her special needs child had a name and a few heartbreaking words for her.
“He hurt me. He set me on fire. He needs to go to jail.”
Following the devastating words whispered by an injured and soon-to-be comatose Kayden Culp, local police arrested one of the elementary school-aged boys believed to be involved in the horrific attack on the special needs child. While the young attacker hasn’t been publicly named, he is believed to have been the bully that actually lit the fire that so badly burned little Kayden. Authorities believe that there were a total of three children involved in the attack on the special needs child, all boys, ages 9 to 11.
The child, who was taken into juvenile custody on Sunday, was reportedly charged with arson in the first degree for the role he allegedly played in the violent, bullying-related attack on little Kayden Culp. However, loved ones and family members of the injured special needs child are desperately hoping that the children responsible for lighting Kayden on fire will face much more serious charges than simple first-degree arson. According to the family, the attack on Kayden Culp appears to have been premeditated, at least according to classmates of Kayden and the bullies who allegedly attacked him and lit him on fire.
“All the kids are talking, saying, ‘Hey, they set out to do it on purpose.'”
News 4 San Antonio has a slightly different version of the events that led to the horrific injuries suffered by Kayden Culp, a special needs child who has not been diagnosed with autism but who “displays autistic behavior,” as well as suffers from issues with his hearing and speech. That news outlet indicates that Kayden was “grabbed” while riding his bike and taken into a nearby shed. Other outlets have reported that Kayden was lit on fire while playing in a field, and that the fire then spread to the nearby shed. Regardless of the specific details, investigators have come to the conclusion that the fire was far from accidental, but rather a deliberate attack on little Kayden.
Kelly Mack, Kayden’s aunt, is 100 percent convinced that the special needs child’s injuries were not just deliberate, they were premeditated. Like the rest of Kayden’s family, she wants to see the children responsible for the attack face severe repercussions.
“The other kids are saying that he was going to be riding his bike like he always is, my nephew Kayden is going to be riding his bike, and they said we’re going to grab him and take him inside and burn him.”
While one child has already been arrested in connection with the assault on Kayden, his family wants to see the charges changed to something that they believe to be more appropriate for the damage the attackers have caused to the young special needs boy.
“If it wasn’t premeditated, it still is attempted murder.”
Despite the allegations of premeditation made by the family of Kayden Culp, News 4 San Antonio is reporting that authorities don’t believe the fire that burned him was premeditated. They are claiming that Kayden was playing with three other boys who lit a shed on fire and threw an accelerant, which caused Kayden to be burned, too. It is unknown where authorities got the information that led to their version of events, but according to Kayden’s family, it doesn’t match what Kayden told them before being put into a coma.
Kayden’s family doubled-down on their collective calls for appropriate justice in the case on Wednesday. That’s when Kayden Culp’s family publicly announced that the special needs child’s condition is deteriorating and that he’s suffering from organ failure as he languishes in a medically-induced coma at University Hospital in San Antonio. By Thursday, his condition had reportedly improved a bit.
Anyone interested in contributing to the support of Kayden Culp can donate to the special needs child at his family’s YouCaring campaign page; currently more than $140,000 has been raised to assist with Kayden’s medical and other expenses.
[Featured Image by Culp Family]